In India everybody thinks that student community are stressed lot. And people mostly blame board-exams for this stress. Board Exams are public exams conducted by Education Boards like CBSE, ISE and many other STATE Boards. 10th and 12th standard students of all the schools affiliated to a particular board have to appear in the Board Exams conducted by that particular board in month of March-April every year. In these exams question papers are centrally set by the board and students of different school are evaluated on the basis of their performance on one question paper. All the students belonging to a particular board face the question paper of the same difficulty level so the marks obtained by them in this exam is a better measure of the knowledge and problem solving skills acquired by them. If two students X and Y appear in the exam conducted by the same board and X gets higher marks than Y then one can safely conclude that most probably X is a better student that Y. This gives the Board Exams an edge over school exams, because in school exams different schools have different standards.
In some schools, question paper are tough, while in other schools question papers are relatively easy. In government schools, question papers are mostly based on the prescribed text books (e.g. NCERT for CBSE affiliated Govt. School). In private schools, question papers are mostly based on private publication books which the teachers of that school use for teaching.(Choice of the recommended book for teaching in a private school is very seldom based on the real quality of the text book- otherwise, why most Delhi teachers of private schools use PRIVATE PUBLICATION books in science for class 10th although NCERT is a better book than those books? Or Why most physics school teachers use a PRIVATE PUBLICATION(I do not want to take name!) book in Physics for 11th and 12th class although NCERT Physics book is many times more better in quality than that Private Publication's book in physics?).
So same marks in different schools do not mean the same. For example, suppose a student named A scores 80% marks in school X, and another student B too scores 80% marks in his school Y. You can not take guarantee that the level of knowledge of A and B are same because schools X and Y are not necessarily setting the question paper of same toughness level. So how will it be ascertained that which student is superior to which in terms of knowledge acquired.
Also it is not very uncommon for a lazy teacher in a school to not finish the entire syllabus of his subject. Then to appease the students of his/her class, he/she unofficially tells the students that questions will come in the exam from only those chapter which he/she has taught and not from the entire prescribed syllabus. So in this scenario, if board exams are now abolished, then how it will be ascertained that students are being taught the entire syllabus?- because, it is a fact, due to board exams every school finishes the entire 10th and 12th class syllabus, whereas, some part of 9th and 11th class syllabus remain untaught every year in many schools.
I will like to tell the readers of this page that they should not believe in the illogical argument advanced by many people who say that the sense of competition that board exam instills in the brain of a young student is bad for them. Competing against each other in an healthy way- I would say- is necessary for the overall evolution of a child personality. Competition is a part of human culture. One Company competes with the other. One state of India competes with the other state. India competes with other countries for trade, commerce and overall development. Competition can only be removed in an utopian imaginary society. Because competition is a necessity for the actual human society at every level of its existence. It is a fact that the urge to compete and do better than others in our life is one of the most important force that drives us to excel in our life. So why are be trying to remove competition from students' life?
Also, in school exams, the internal evaluation of answer sheets, by a teacher of the same school, is mostly not very impartial. If a teacher T likes a particular student P (because, for example, P had gifted him/her a costly item on last Teacher's Day or because P is a neighbor of T or because P un-officially takes tuition from T …) then P will definitely get better marks than an equally competent student Q who may not be a favourite of T. Whereas, in Board Exams, the evaluation of answer sheets are done by teachers who do not know the students personally. So they award marks only on the basis of the quality of the answers.
India is known world over for its engineers and doctors that it produces in huge numbers every year. The entire computer software industry and the BPO industry is fully dependent upon the availability of quality human resource. If this experiment of doing away with board exams proves to be a mistake in future and consequently the quality of human resource deteriorates with time, then our future generation will never pardon us for our action.
Instead of abolishing the practice of board exams, I would say, the government should strengthen the board system. There should be one board for 12th class in entire India. So that students throughout India study the same syllabus in their 11th and 12th class. This will help in strengthening the university education as well. State boards may be allowed to function upto 10th level so that students may study their state centric syllabus upto class 10th . But beyond that there should be one national level curriculum.
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This part I am writing today (on 13th May 2011) because a very respectable author of a private publication book called me on my mobile in the evening at around 8.50PM today and objected to my statement that "NCERT is better book than his book". Sorry Sir, my aim was not to offend you or any other author. But I stood by what I say: "NCERT books in science and maths are indeed better that most private books". This is my personal opinion based on my own evaluation of NCERT books and other books.
EXPLANATION:I do not consider the popular private publication books as good books, because in most of those books(there are few exceptions, although!) the chapters are not written in a compact manner. These books are written in the style of a GUIDE. It takes a lot of time to read a chapter from those books.So it is impossible to finish the syllabus of all the subjects if one exclusively use private publication books. A text book should be very compact. Things should never be spoon-fed to a student. So, in my opinion, use private books(if needed) as a supplement to NCERT book and not as a text book.
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